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What's next and what's at stake in UK snap election

19 April 2017
What's next and what's at stake in UK snap election

Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June.

"It is a recent and reluctant decision", May said in an urgent statement that followed a routine Cabinet meeting.

Theresa May won't take part in any TV debates in the run-up to the general election in June, Downing Street said. Both the Conservative and Labour Party say they want to carry out last year's vote to leave the European Union, so calling off Brexit looks very unlikely. But on Tuesday, she said she had "reluctantly" changed her mind because political divisions "risk our ability to make a success of Brexit".

The Prime Minister challenged the opposition parties: "This is your moment to show you mean it - to show you're not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game".

A snap election is an election called earlier than we thought - in this case, the next one was expected in May 2020. The BBC, ITV, Sky, and Channel 4 are yet to comment on the matter (and are unlikely to until the election is rubber-stamped by Parliament on Wednesday) but privately they will be keen to stage events.

"I welcome the prime minister's decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first".

A Conservative MP also today urged Mrs May to take on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"This is a cynical move by May, who clearly wants to increase her majority so she can force through a hard, economically catastrophic Brexit unopposed, or as close to unopposed as possible", said Zoe Lawrence, a London-based charity worker.

Corbyn said he would not oppose the call for an election. "If you put all those things together they equal a general election".

The vote is viewed as an attempt by May to secure a new mandate in Brexit negotiations. With a five-year term ahead of her, May could negotiate with Brussels without worrying that whatever happens after the deadline will be judged in an upcoming election.

Corbyn and the leader of the minority Liberal Democrats Tim Farron both welcomed May's decision to call a general election. Leaders of European Union states are due to adopt negotiating guidelines at an April 29 summit, and the bloc will prepare detailed plans for the talks with Britain by late May.

"People in Skipton and Ripon may have voted, just, to leave the European Union, but many did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us after being backed by Labour".

What is a snap election?


Polls give May's Conservatives a double-digit lead over Labour, which could have its worst election showing in decades. Due to their strong anti-Brexit stance, despite being a party that's more centre than left, I feel they might gain popularity because of this. "She's taking people for granted already and voters never like that".

The party said it had gained 1,000 new members in the hour after May's announcement.

Rather than helping the country unite, the election could widen divisions within the United Kingdom.

Sturgeon said Tuesday that May was seeking "to crush the voices of people who disagree with her".

This story will be updated as we await further responses from local political parties.